• Women's Empowerment in Business

  • The San Rafael Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Women of Industry Committee welcomes you to the  Women's Empowerment in Business webpage, comprised of empowering blog posts, and a calendar of events which will feature conversations by women that are of interest to women in business.  

    If you would like to contribute a blog post, please submit to Leslie Piper at lpiper@srchamber.com.  

  • Past Women of Industry Honorees: 

    2013 Joan Capurro, Bank of Marin

    2014 The late Ann Brebner, California Film Institute 

    2015 Patty Garbarino, Marin Sanitary Service 

    2016 Melissa Prandi, PRANDI Property Management 

    2017 Pat Kendall, Kaiser Permanente

    2018 Stephanie Plante, CPi Developers & Mary Kay Sweeney, Homeward Bound

    2019 Cynthia Murray, North Bay Leadership Council 

    2021 Helen Russell, Equator Coffees 


    Women's Empowerment in Business Blog


  • The Work-Life Puzzle: If there is no balance and there are way too many compartmentalizations, what is there? Life! The Work-Life Puzzle: If there is no balance and there are way too many compartmentalizations, what is there? Life!

    Well being. Work-life balance. Family life. Work-life. Professional aspiration. Mind, body, spirit. Mental health. Stay at home mom. Mom life. Boss lady. Self-care. Boundaries. 

    I could go on with compartments of the places where we are supposed to box up aspects of our lives, but why? Why such separation? If I go back in time, I understand that most of us were taught that our work life and home life were completely separate. And mental life isn’t even supposed to exist. Especially as a working mom or female boss, we were taught that we were somehow weaker if we brought our home life into work. If we brought our assertive work-self home we were somehow bitchy. And, don’t you dare bring any emotions to any of it. It’s exhausting to isolate various aspects of yourself. To keep parts of your life separate as if the other parts didn’t exist. And it’s even more tiring to try to keep all the parts running efficiently and joyfully. How often do we now hear work-life balance? (I think, too much.) 

    Let’s first admit that there is no balance. Things often change quickly, and most often, we have no control over those changes. If nothing else, we have certainly learned that over this past Covid-filled, politically charged, racially challenging year. Work-life balance was a myth before that but has undoubtedly been brought to the forefront these past months. So, if there is no balance and there are way too many compartmentalizations, what is there? Life!Let me suggest that it’s just life. Simply, life. And, it’s how we act, react and judge our life that ultimately balances us and brings us happiness. Sounds simple, and I know it’s not. It may be harder, at first, to just be and to integrate our wholeness than it is to stay divided. In the long game, though, a whole puzzle is stronger than the individual pieces. In our modern, connected, and even somewhat enlightened world, how can this work?


    • Accept. Acceptance of the present is actually relaxing and joyful. That doesn’t mean settling; it just means to live presently and intentionally no matter the situation.
    • Bless. See and appreciate daily blessings. If you cut an apple in half and the core is heart-shaped, be sure to smile. When you’re uber busy finishing your budget for work, and your son asks for homework help, find comfort that he asked and work together to finish both projects even if you’re up past bedtime.
    • Choose. You do have a choice. Seriously, nobody cares about the dust bunnies, so choosing to color with your child is often more important than cleaning. Zooming with your best friend can take priority over cooking a fancy meal; a quick breakfast for dinner can be just as tasty.

    I truly believe it takes a village. I’m encouraged to see many of my sisters coming together to uplift one another.

    As the world continues to change and evolve, I hope that we all continue to strive for wholeness, and we will connect and integrate all parts of ourselves and endeavor to lift up and support other women.


    Written by Lori Pearce

    Bay Area News Group


  • Boost your Energy with Good Nutrition and Feel your Best! Boost your Energy with Good Nutrition and Feel your Best!

    How can you keep your energy high all day long? Getting enough sleep and exercise both play a role. But your eating habits matter too. What we eat has a major impact on how we feel and how much stamina we have to get through the workday.

    Try these five energy-boosting tips:

    1. Start your day with breakfast for an energizing start:

    "No time," "woke up too late," "nothing to eat," or "on a diet" are the most common reasons people skip breakfast. But according to research, a regular morning meal is linked to better overall health and diet quality, cognitive benefits, a healthier body weight, and a lower risk from some chronic diseases. 

    Research suggests that breakfast eaters tend to have better concentration and problem-solving ability, higher productivity in the late morning, better attitudes toward work or school, and better ability to handle tasks that require memory. In addition, eating a morning meal could help reduce cravings later in the day. 

    What makes up a good breakfast? Try choosing foods from at least three food groups: whole grains, lean protein, and produce.

    • Plain greek yogurt with fruit and low sugar granola
    • Overnight oats, made with dairy or non-dairy milk, nuts or nut butter, and fruit 
    • Nut butter on whole-grain toast with sliced banana or strawberries
    • Avocado on a whole-grain English muffin with a sliced hard-boiled egg

    2. Snack Smart

    Try not to rescue yourself with another cup of coffee or pastry to get through the rest of your afternoon. Instead, plan a more substantial snack that will be satisfying and help you finish your workday with more energy. 

    We need to change the meaning of the word snack and think about it as a mini-meal. Try to include protein, fiber, and healthy fat to feel fuller longer and stay off the blood sugar roller coaster. Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit, roasted chickpeas, hummus with whole wheat pita and veggies, or apple slices with peanut butter all make delicious and satiating snacks. 

    Need more ideas? Check out this healthy snack list here.

    Another tip: eating a light snack of carbohydrates right before exercise can give you an energy boost as well! 

    3. Balance your plate

    Is your lunch making you feel sluggish and sleepy in the afternoon? Foods high in fat (think fried food, fast food, etc.) can make you feel overly full, zapping your energy for the next few hours. These foods also slow down your digestion, reducing the speed at which other energy-boosting nutrients enter your body. Balance out your plate with all the food groups for sustained energy.

    Consider these tips for balancing your meal:

    • Make ½ your plate vegetables and fruit (Eat the rainbow!) 
    • Include at least 20g lean protein (chicken, lean meat, eggs, fish, tofu, beans, nuts, etc.) 
    • Choose whole grains like quinoa, farro, brown rice, or sweet potatoes
    • Add a small amount of healthy fat (olive oil, avocado, nuts, or nut butter) 

    4. Avoid the sugar crash

    When we're tired, we turn to sugar because let's be honest, it tastes good, and we are looking for ways to boost our energy. We may get a temporary spike, but the problem is, high sugar foods will likely result in a heavy crash. It is important to clarify these are added sugars, not
    natural sugars found in fruit and plain dairy products. Added sugars refer to sweeteners that provide extra calories but no nutrients.  

    One key to cutting back on sugar is to be prepared by bringing healthy snacks with you to the office, so you're not tempted to grab from the office candy bowl. Here are more ideas for healthy snacks

    5. Stay hydrated with unsweetened beverages. 

    Rethink your drink! Stay hydrated with water throughout the day. Keep a water bottle at your desk. Add citrus, fresh fruit, cucumber, and mint to give it a flavorful boost. 

    Avoid sugary drinks, soda, sweetened teas, and sports drinks, and fancy coffee drinks as they deliver too much sugar and could result in a blood sugar spike and crash. Instead, try sparkling water, low-fat dairy, plant-based milk, and unsweetened coffee or tea for great ways to hydrate.


    Written by Susannah Wallenstrom, MPH, RDN

    Marin Nutrition Consulting